A PhD is a substantial piece of work, and can be expected to take between 3 and 5 years to complete. The eventual PhD focus is likely to remain an important component of an ongoing, or future, research career and so the choice of topic is critical.
If you are interested in applying to the PhD programme, please read and consider the information in this section carefully.
A detailed curriculum vitae (including a list of publications and a description of your role in any unpublished research projects in which you may have participated).
An electronic copy of academic transcripts for previous degrees, which should indicate what courses you have completed and the mark achieved for each course.
A concept note of the research envisaged in the PhD, of about 3-5 pages. This should include a brief introduction outlining the rationale for the research, initial research questions, aim and objectives and a brief description of the envisaged methods. The rationale should indicate why you think the research is original, as this is a requirement for doctoral work.
A covering letter that explains why you want to undertake PhD research (especially how the PhD fits into your career plan), and that indicates which of the eight Divisions of the School you wish to be located within. The Divisions are: Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Environmental Health; Family Medicine; Health Economics; Health Policy and Systems; Public Health Medicine; Occupational Medicine; and Social and Behavioural Sciences.
Once the deadline has passed, the department will convene a meeting of Heads of Division to consider the applications. The Department will notify applicants of the outcome of this process within 4-6 weeks after each of these closing dates. While all applicants will be considered during this process, at times it is also useful if applicants engage with a potential supervisor. A table of supervisors and their research interests is provided below. Supervisors can be contacted during the two month period directly before the application deadline.
Once accepted on the programme via the departmental process, students will need to accept the offer and register for the programme as follows:
The department sends a letter of acceptance to Taryn-Lee Safers (Taryn-Lee.Safers@uct.ac.za) at the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Office
The candidate liaises with the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Office to complete registration procedures (including accepting the offer letter and completing registration forms)
The candidate liaises with Latiefa Adams (PhD Programme Administrator) to organize access to the department’s PhD Vula site
PhD Proposal Development Process
Once registration is completed, the candidate, with support from the supervisor(s), constructs a detailed PhD proposal following the conventions of the particular Public Health discipline or field. In other words, each proposal will differ in terms of format or structure, and should be appropriate to the proposed research - Health Economics proposals will be different from Epidemiology proposals; proposals using qualitative methods will differ from those with quantitative methods, etc. Candidates are encouraged to consult their supervisor(s) and/or Head of Division for guidance if necessary. Candidates should also read the guidelines found within the ‘resources’ section of the PhDVula site that describes the PhD proposal approval processes.